Red Brick Daily

It was a tiny reprieve: Indonesian prison authorities a few weeks back said they would not be executing any prisoners this year, but that info was followed by the less-happy news that executions will commence in early January 2018.

(Unconfirmed image allegedly shows an Indonesian firing squad)

For 11 Taiwanese drug smuggling convicts in Indonesian prisons, this December 31st will likely be their last New Year’s Eve on earth, as they are reportedly on the top of the list when firing squads return to work early in the new year.

To be fair, the accused were convicted of trying to smuggle almost 90 kilograms of methamphetamines into Indonesia concealed inside forklifts … which is kind of a big deal.

Some 30 others of many nationalities jailed in Indonesia are also slated for death next year, part of that nation’s presidential directive to “get tough” on drugs. Again, however, to be fair, Indonesian authorities have been far less deadly than their counterparts in the neighboring Philippines, which has adopted harsh policies that have included extra-judicial killings of drug users and dealers.

Still, and despite Taiwan having capital punishment on its books, many hope for a day when at least non-violent offenders are not subjected to state-approved extermination.

Local polls, however, show strong support for the Indonesian government’s sentences and in Taiwan support for the death penalty hangs constantly at above 85%, meaning few in Taiwan are pushing for clemency for the doomed men …

(Local poll. The red bar indicates support for Indonesia’s verdict of capital punishment for 11 Taiwan nationals.)

Are you OK with death for drug smugglers?